After two fascinating semi-finals, Australia and New Zealand will meet in the final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai, UAE on Sunday (November 14). The Trans-Tasman clash has all the makings of becoming a classic, considering their famed rivalry and the ensemble of stars on either side. Also, new champions will be crowned after the end of 40 overs, unless something dramatic happens. (More Cricket News)
Both New Zealand and Australia won their respective semi-finals against England and Pakistan by the same margin -- by five wickets with one over to spare. Interestingly, both the sides needed 60+ runs in the last five overs, and 22 in the last two.
Here's all you need to know about the New Zealand vs Australia, T20 World Cup final match:
What's at stake?
Besides a glittering trophy and big prize money, New Zealand and Australia will fight for T20 supremacy. Australia came close to winning the crown in 2010, but they suffered a humiliating seven-wicket defeat at the hands of 'traditional' rivals England. This is their second final. New Zealand are making their maiden final appearance. They were the losing semi-finalists in 2007 and 2014.
The total purse for the T20 World Cup 2021 is USD 5.6 million. The winners will get USD 1.6 million. The runners-up will take home USD 800,000 as prize money. Both the losing semifinalists will have USD 400,000 each.
There is a reserve day for the final. The ICC said that "every effort will be made to complete the match on the scheduled day with any necessary reduction in overs taking place. Only if the minimum number of overs necessary to constitute a match (10 overs to the side batting second) cannot be bowled on the scheduled day will the match be completed on the reserve day."
"If a match starts on the scheduled day and overs are reduced following an interruption but no further play is possible, the match will resume on the reserve day at the point where the last ball was played."
What about a tie?
In case of a tie, Super Over will decide the winners. If the Super Over is also tied, then subsequent Super Overs shall be played until the winners are decided.
ICC also stipulated that "if following a tie, weather conditions prevent the Super Over from being completed, or if the match is abandoned or a no result, the teams shall be declared joint winners."
There will be a forced change for New Zealand. Wicketkeeper Devon Conway broke his right hand in frustration following his dismissal in the semifinal against England. Tim Seifert is the favourite to replace Conway, but the Kiwis have Mark Chapman and Glenn Phillips as other wicketkeeping options.
Unlike the Kiwis, Australia are likely to field the same XI that beat Pakistan in their semis. But Steve Smith's form is a concern.
Players to watch out for
Both the camps have T20 stars in their ranks. Skipper Kane Williamson, despite his relatively quiet outing so far in the tournament, remains the most important batter. Kiwis will also rely heavily on their pace duo of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, and spinner Ish Sodhi. They will also need a good start from openers Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell. And in Jimmy Neesham, they have a world-class finisher.
Australia will hope for opener David Warner to fire, again. He's probably the most destructive batter in either camp, and reputation precedes him. Then, there are the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, skipper Aaron Finch and of course, semis hero Matthew Wade. In Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, the Aussies have a formidable pace battery. With spinner Adam Zampa, they form one of the best bowling attacks in the tournament.
ICC rankings and road to the final
New Zealand: ICC T20I ranking - 4
New Zealand started their Super 12 campaign with a five-wicket defeat against Pakistan. Then the Kiwis won their next four Group 2 matches against India (by eight wickets), Scotland (by 16 runs), Namibia (by 52 runs) and Afghanistan (eight wickets). They finished Group 2 second behind Pakistan.
Australia: ICC T20I ranking - 6
Australia started their campaign with wins against South Africa by five wickets and Sri Lanka by seven wickets. But they lost to England by eight wickets in the Super 12. The Aussies then produced clinical, eight-wicket wins against Bangladesh and West Indies to finish second in Group 1.
This will be their 15th meeting in T20 Internationals. Australia lead the head-to-head record 9-5, but New Zealand have won three of their last five meetings. In the last match, New Zealand won by seven wickets. New Zealand won their only meeting in the T20 World Cup.
Pitch and weather forecast
According to weather.com, the temperature will be around 30° Celcius during the day and around 22° Celcius at night. As witnessed during the previous matches, teams will take the dew factor into account. Expect a batting-friendly pitch and the team winning toss should bowl first.
Martin Guptill (23) needs one six to become the outright Kiwi batter with most sixes in T20 World Cup. He currently shares the record with Ross Taylor. Guptill also needs 49 runs to overtake Brendon McCullum’s tally of 637 runs and become New Zealand's leading run-scorer in T20 World Cups.
David Warner is four sixes away from completing 100 T20I sixes. He also needs one catch to complete 150 catches in T20.
Aaron Finch needs 25 runs to become the second Australian and sixth player overall to complete 10,000 T20 runs.
Match and telecast details
Match: ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 final between New Zealand and Australia.
Date: November 14 (Sunday), 2021
Time: 7:30 PM IST/ 2:00 PM BST/ 06:00 PM Local
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle
On-field umpires: Marais Erasmus and Richard Kettleborough
TV umpire: Nitin Menon
Fourth umpire: Kumar Dharmasena.
How to watch
The T20 World Cup 2021 final between New Zealand and Australia will be broadcast live on the Star Sports network. Channels - Star Sports 1/HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi/HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Kannada
The T20 World Cup 2021 final between New Zealand and Australia will be live-streamed on Disney+ Hotstar. Also, follow the live updates and scores on OutlookIndia. https://www.outlookindia.com.
Australia - Fox Sports, Channel 9, Kayo Sports; New Zealand – Sky Sport New Zealand; Pakistan - PTV Sports, Ten Sports; Bangladesh - Ghazi TV (GTV); Sri Lanka – SLRC (Channel Eye); South Africa – SuperSport; Caribbean – ESPN; Middle East and North Africa – eLife TV, StarzPlay, Switch TV; USA – ESPN+; Singapore - Star Cricket, Star Hub and Singtel; Malaysia - Fox International Channels; Hong Kong - Star Cricket.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Seifert (wk), Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazelwood.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Adam Milne, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.